NovaSpine Pain Institute
Pain Management in Sun City, Sun City West, Glendale and Gilbert, Arizona
An estimated 45 million people in the United States experience chronic headaches that cause severe pain. Headaches can be disabling and can interfere with your quality of life, but the team of experts at NovaSpine Pain Institute, including board-certified neurologist David Morales, MD, can help. With offices in Sun City West, Sun City, Gilbert, and Glendale, Arizona, the team offers minimally invasive treatments that relieve your pain and restore your ability to enjoy a robust life. To end headache pain, schedule an evaluation by calling the office nearest you today or use the online contact form.
Headaches & Migraines Q & A
What causes headaches?
There are numerous different types of headaches. Each type is classified by the underlying cause of head pain symptoms. These include:
Sometimes called stress headaches, tension headaches typically cause mild to moderate pain. They can usually be treated with over-the-counter pain medication. However, long-term use of these medicines can lead to chronic headaches that return daily.
Migraine is a complex condition characterized by moderate to severe pain on one or both sides of the head. Sufferers describe migraine pain as pounding or throbbing.
Some types of migraines are accompanied by visual disturbances like flashing lights or holes in your vision. They can be accompanied by light sensitivity, nausea, and/or vomiting and can last for a few hours to several days.
The exact cause of migraines isn’t fully understood, but genetics, changes in nerves and blood vessels in the brain, and hormone levels are thought to contribute to the condition.
This type of headache causes intense pain behind or around one eye. The pain is severe but short-lived and occurs in a cluster period — a group of several headaches that occur daily and last up to three months. Pain from cluster headaches is often described as burning, stabbing, or throbbing.
The cause of cluster headaches isn’t known, but it’s clear that the trigeminal nerve in the face is affected during a cluster headache.
New daily persistent headaches
If you have a constant headache that appears suddenly and you can clearly identify the onset of your pain, you could have new daily persistent headaches.
These headaches could be caused by an underlying condition in your spine or brain, so it’s essential to seek treatment if you have a persistent headache that lasts for more than 24 hours.
How are headaches treated?
Your personalized treatment plan can include:
- Prescription pain medication
- Physical therapy
- Trigger point injections
Occipital nerve blocks are particularly effective in treating migraines and other types of chronic headaches.
Occipital nerve blocks involve injecting a steroid medication into the area at the base of your skull to decrease inflammation and irritation in the occipital nerve for rapid relief that can last for weeks or months.
To schedule a headache evaluation at NovaSpine Pain Institute, call the office nearest you today or use the online contact form.